Teaching children to read is fundamental to their future success. But for a country already battling massive youth unemployment and an adult literacy crisis, it’s emerged that close to 80% of Grade 4 learners cannot read with understanding in any of the 11 official languages. Government has warned of the crisis and, in 2019, President Cyril Ramaphosa promised to prioritise reading through a National Reading Plan. But, through exclusive access, Carte Blanche shows how Department of Basic Education documents reveal a plan in disarray, continuing to fail our children. Despite this, education officials continue to proclaim the National Reading Plan a success. Carte Blanche investigates.